Rachael Taylor grew up in Tasmania, Australia, with her parents Nigel and Christine Taylor. She began modelling during her teens, working for the Skye-Jilly International agency. She competed for Miss Teen Tasmania, as well as the Miss Universe/Miss World state finals. She moved to Sydney to further her modeling career as well as to pursue acting. She also began studying for a degree in History and Politics at the University of Sydney.
n 2004, she landed her first acting role in the television movie The Mystery of Natalie Wood (2004). After performing several roles, she left her studies to play a regular role on the Australian drama Headland (2005). She won a Logie Award for her performance as Most Popular New Female Talent. Her breakthrough role came in Transformers (2007) when she played Maggie Madsen.